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Taking Control: The ADHD Podcast

Find support, tools, and community to help you take control of your ADHD with Nikki Kinzer & Pete Wright

Taking Control: The ADHD Podcast

Find support, tools, and community to help you take control of your ADHD with Nikki Kinzer & Pete Wright

Nikki’s Take-Aways from the 2019 ADHD Conference!

Nikki’s back from the Annual 31st International Conference on ADHD and she has lessons to share! This week on the show we’re talking about motivation and ADHD, lessons from the author of The Explosive Child, and ADHD and girls and women, each of which served to enlighten and shape the way we do our work here at Take Control ADHD and The ADHD Podcast.

Links & Notes


Episode Transcript

Pete Wright: Hello everybody, and welcome to Taking Control: The ADHD Podcast on RashPixel.fm. I’m Pete Wright and I’m here with Nikki Kinzer.

Nikki Kinzer: Hello everyone. Hello Pete Wright.

Pete Wright: World traveler Nikki Kinzer.

Nikki Kinzer: Oh yeah. Well, all the way to Philadelphia.

Pete Wright: There was that one time …

Nikki Kinzer: I went one time.

Pete Wright: … you went to Philadelphia, also in the world.

Nikki Kinzer: Once a year I get out of town.

Pete Wright: That’s right, that’s right. We’re going to be talking about your big world travels just a couple of weeks ago. Finally, you’re back. You’ve had a chance to center, to find your mindful space, and it’s time to tell us all about the chat at a conference and lessons learned. And you had a big pivot in the middle of this conference. Spoiler, it’s a doozy.

Nikki Kinzer: It is.

Pete Wright: I don’t know, I’m just building drama, but it is … you learned a lot and I’m very excited to hear you recap this for everybody because it seems like a big year for you personally as well as always, professionally.

Nikki Kinzer: Absolutely.

Pete Wright: Before we do that, head over to takecontroladhd.com and get to know us a little bit better. You can listen to the show right there on the website or subscribe to our mailing list and you’ll get an email with the latest episode each week. Connect with us on Twitter or Facebook @takecontrolADHD and if this show has ever touched you in any way that has helped to support the way you live with your ADHD, we encourage you to visit patreon.com/theadhdpodcast and consider joining the others who have decided to support this show and support its continued development and production.

Pete Wright: The first thing you get is just you get to go to sleep at night and think, “Hey, ADHD Podcast isn’t going anywhere. Next Tuesday, I’m going to get another episode because I’m part of the group that’s supporting it.” But you know what else you get?

Nikki Kinzer: Unless we’re on vacation.

Pete Wright: Well, okay.

Nikki Kinzer: I’m sorry, I just have to be …

Pete Wright: There’s always a thing.

Nikki Kinzer: … transparent. It’s not every week.

Pete Wright: The other thing you get is you get access to early release episodes. You can come and join us in the live stream recording, depending on the level you’d choose to support us and you get access to Pete and Nikki in all kinds of fun ways. Just head over to patreon.com/theadhdpodcast to get to know that. And also, I just have to say, look, this is for the livestream and if you’re not on livestream, you don’t get to see this. What?

Nikki Kinzer: Look at that.

Pete Wright: That’s right. You can’t hear me, I’m talking through a shirt. This is the squirrel, squirrel, squirrel, squirrel podcast shirt. And that’s the front and it’s got the squirrels on it and it’s fantastic. And on the back, it says Taking Control: The ADHD Podcast. And it’s so classy. This is the Heather blue. I just got it and I would be wearing it, but I wore it yesterday and now it’s stinky.

Nikki Kinzer: Well, I’m glad you’re not wearing it.

Pete Wright: Yeah. So, actually, it’s weirdly classy, this shirt. It seems like such a joke, but I put this on and I feel like I’m a proper lad.

Nikki Kinzer: That’s great.

Pete Wright: Yeah, yeah. So there you go. ADHD Podcast stuff is over in our TeePublic Store and you should check that out as well. Link in the show notes and on the website. So we also have, oh my goodness, get a load of this, the Accountability Group Coaching 2020!

Nikki Kinzer: Gosh, that sounds so weird. I mean 2020 seems so far off, but it’s not.

Pete Wright: I know.

Nikki Kinzer: It’s a few weeks from now.

Pete Wright: And yet you can see it so clearly.

Nikki Kinzer: Yes, it’s crazy.

Pete Wright: Did you get what I did there? 20-

Nikki Kinzer: Oh 20/20, Oh, you are so clever.

Pete Wright: That was the joke. It was a vision joke. It was a kind of an onion of humor. Go ahead.

Nikki Kinzer: It’s good. It’s good. All right, I appreciate it. I appreciate your humor. All right, so yes, Accountability Group Coaching 2020 with great vision. Ooh, I really should like rap something about that. Like vision 20/20, yeah. Okay. Marketing idea just popped up. Anyway, so beginning the week of January 13th, the days and times are still to be announced so I want to be honest about that. I haven’t quite decided what’s going to work best, but I will figure that out soon and I will let you know but it will be for 10 weeks. We are going to be meeting weekly for 90 minutes. Plus, there’s check-ins and communication with the group in between sessions and you get one individual coaching session with me to use whenever you like.

Nikki Kinzer: So a lot of the outline and agenda is very similar to what I’ve done in the past. Biggest difference is that I will have a very specific topic and they all blend in together to explore as a group from week to week. Each member is still going to have the opportunity to share their updates on whatever their focus is for that week so that’s where the accountability comes in. At the end of the call, we will also set new intentions for the next week.

Nikki Kinzer: So it’s a great opportunity to work with like-minded people as support. You get new ideas, you get inspiration, motivation, you get feedback from me. It’s a great thing. So I definitely recommend checking it out. If you have questions specifically, you can email me at nikki@takecontroladhd.com and if you’d like to sign up, you can go to the website and there’s a little special page for Accountability Group and you can sign up there. But I have a feeling that, Pete, you will also put this in the show notes as well, right?

Pete Wright: I will. I’m going to do that. And you know what else I’m going to do? I’m going to set up a page so that people can register. It seems like that’s a thing I should do.

Nikki Kinzer: I just think that’s great idea.

Pete Wright: A number one. Yeah, we’re going to do that.

Nikki Kinzer: We’re going to do that

Pete Wright: Yeah, so that’s definitely a … You know what? I’ve been reflecting on this a little bit, these accountability groups. It’s been a couple of years. How long have you been doing these accountability groups for different coaches? Three years?

Nikki Kinzer: Oh gosh, several years, actually. At least probably four.

Pete Wright: Something like that, yeah.

Nikki Kinzer: Yeah.

Pete Wright: So much of what I’ve been reading in Discord, the people who are coming in and talking about like how it’s so hard to find a new routine like this is it. This is how you do it. And two, if this is what it takes for you to find a new routine to be able to invest in yourself a little bit to get over the hump of not having anybody to be accountable to, these weekly habits are huge.

Nikki Kinzer: Absolutely.

Pete Wright: It’s hard. It’s not an easy thing, but if it’s time for you, you’ll know it and it may just be time to do the hard thing, to face the demons and get started.

Nikki Kinzer: Work on that vision in 2020.

Pete Wright: Work on that vision. Ah.

Nikki Kinzer: Love that.

Pete Wright: You can see so clearly.

Nikki Kinzer: I know, right. So much with that we can do.

Pete Wright: Nikki Kinzer, you’re back from Philadelphia. It’s time to talk about CHADD.

Nikki Kinzer: CHADD.

Pete Wright: The CHADD-

Nikki Kinzer: It’s actually, wait.

Pete Wright: [inaudible 00:06:50] dot com acronym.

Nikki Kinzer: Yes, it’s not really CHADD. It’s not the CHADD conference anymore. It is the ADHD International, exactly, International A … Now see, I can’t even remember. It’s the International ADHD conference hosted by CHADD, ADDA and ACO.

Pete Wright: Okay.

Nikki Kinzer: So three different organizations.

Pete Wright: ADHD Int Conf, CHADD, ADDA, ACO.

Nikki Kinzer: It’s big. It’s big, yes.

Pete Wright: That’s what it is. It’s a big acronym.

Nikki Kinzer: It is.

Pete Wright: But big acronyms mean big lessons.

Nikki Kinzer: Big lessons.

Pete Wright: Check out that segue.

Nikki Kinzer: Yes, and this year was not any different than any other year. It was a great opportunity to meet people, see people that I haven’t seen that I see on a yearly basis, basically. People from my profession, like coaches, experts, doctors, all of those. Some of our guests, I saw many of our guests actually there in the conference.

Pete Wright: That’s right, ADHD professionals turned podcast guests.

Nikki Kinzer: Yes, yes.

Pete Wright: They really reached new heights.

Nikki Kinzer: Right. I met a lot of people who just listened to our show and was there as an adult with ADHD learning or as a parent with an ADHD child or a parent with ADHD and an ADHD child. I mean there were all different kinds of people there for different reasons and so it’s always humbling to me, Pete, when somebody recognizes me and says, “Oh, I love your podcast,” and then followed up, “Where’s Pete?”

Pete Wright: Oh, right.

Nikki Kinzer: “Is Pete here? Where’s Pete?”

Pete Wright: And then the sad trombone.

Nikki Kinzer: I know, not this time, but next year hopefully you will be there because they do want to know where you are.

Pete Wright: Well, yeah. It’s definitely going to happen next year. It’s been too many years that I have not done it and it’s actually in Dallas next year, right, if I’m remembering that correctly.

Nikki Kinzer: Yes.

Pete Wright: So it’s even easier to get to.

Nikki Kinzer: Absolutely. Absolutely.

Pete Wright: Yeah, I’m very excited.

Nikki Kinzer: So today, I’m going to share some of my takeaways from the conference and there were many different topics that were covered and what I decided to do for this show is I’m going to be covering three different sessions that I found to be interesting. I’m going to talk a little bit about some of the comments from the speakers that really resonated with me. I figured it’d better to narrow it down to three than to tell you every session I went to because that would be a really long and boring podcast to be honest.

Pete Wright: Okay, let’s just settle on long. I have higher hopes for the engagement.

Nikki Kinzer: Okay, thank you.

Pete Wright: We’ll say it’s long.

Nikki Kinzer: It’s long, right.

Pete Wright: Let’s take that because you went with … I guess I want to start with the overall, your overall impression of your experience at the conference. You came back and it felt like you were surprised at how you just reacted to the experience this year.

Nikki Kinzer: Well, I was surprised but that is also because I have some personal things going on in my life that made this very surprising. What happened is I went to this conference with the mindset of an ADHD coach, right. I wanted to learn.

Pete Wright: As you do.

Nikki Kinzer: Yes, absolutely. I go to the conference for a couple of different reasons. One is to network and meet with people and hopefully talk to some people who will become guests and will become guests on the show again. So there’s definitely some of that. It is to reengage with people that I talked to periodically, the other coaches, and be able to have that face-to-face contact. But it’s also to get my CE credits because I am a certified ADHD coach and in order to keep that certification, I have to have so many credits every three years.

Nikki Kinzer: Well, when I first went to the conference, that’s definitely the mindset that I went in and on Thursday, all the sessions were about coaching. That was what I went in thinking about and all of that. But after Thursday, my mind shifted and it really changed to being a parent with an ADHD daughter who has not been diagnosed yet. And so what’s happening in my life is we are in a process right now where we’re trying to get her properly evaluated. It has not been an easy process for a lot of different reasons and I will certainly talk about that at a later time about my daughter’s journey but I just want to give some people some reference of why I walked away as being a parent. Okay.

Pete Wright: Okay.

Nikki Kinzer: So there we go.

Pete Wright: I’m with you.

Nikki Kinzer: Yes. So, okay, the first session that I talked or that I want to talk about isn’t really anything to do with me being a parent, it really was about motivation and it was about ADHD, and how ADHD affects your motivation, and how it’s really hard for ADHD to get excited or an ADHDer or to get excited about long-term goals. You relate to that?

Pete Wright: A little, yeah, I do. And I’ll tell you where my head was just now, because we’ve been talking so much about … Part of the problem is this executive function thing. When my ADHD is up, I go … All of the tools that I have to regain focus are inward, right? They’re inward inside of me and not external and so it’s hard to get excited about things outside when I feel like I’ve lost control inside. That’s where my head was just now. I don’t know if that relates to that experience.

Nikki Kinzer: Well, absolutely. When we think about motivation, I mean motivation is the drive to do something, right? It’s the drive to take that step forward and what happens with the executive functions and with ADHD is that ADHDers are less sensitive to consequences because the lesson of not doing something or doing something that they were supposed to be doing isn’t necessarily learned or remembered, right? So it’s that I did it and I should … People will say, “Well, you should learn your lesson.” But with ADHD, that’s not necessarily true. It’s like you don’t remember what happened and so the motivation can be affected that way.

Pete Wright: Well, that’s fascinating because I can see that in my own kids and I can see that in myself and that is one of those things, even though my kids who at this point, they do have words to describe it, but before they did, it would happen and they wouldn’t learn the lesson. And then I have the words and have been working actively on this for almost 20 years and I still don’t learn the lessons. And that is a shocking side effect of ADHD that it constantly amazes me.

Nikki Kinzer: Yeah, absolutely. Well, and one of the strategies that this speaker was talking about was to really give time or give yourself time to link your values to your goals. And that really resonated with me because I thought, “Huh, I wonder how often,” and I’m just being honest. I wonder how often I really do talk to my clients about their values. Not often enough to be completely honest. And so that’s why I go to these conferences is to think about these things.

Nikki Kinzer: So it goes more into asking yourself these questions. When you want change or you want to be able to do something, you’re motivated to do something. What makes it important to you right now? That’s a great question, but we also need to connect that to what makes it important and then how does it correlate to your values? Why is it going to work with your value system?

Nikki Kinzer: And students actually tend to do better in school if they can connect their values to their goals. So if their goal is to get an A out of this class, well let’s talk about why is that important? What value do you see in getting that A and everybody’s answer’s going to be different but they could say, “Well, integrity, hard work, drive.” Anything that is a value to them, that’s what that A is representing. But somebody else could say, “Well, my goal is to just get a B.” And I say just but that doesn’t mean that that’s any less than an A, because they know it’s going to be hard work so I’m going to persevere. That is a value of mine. And so when they can see that, they can find that motivation, which I thought was really, really-

Pete Wright: Well, yeah, and that B with ADHD is going to be an order of magnitude more challenging than an easy A for someone who’s not living with ADHD.

Nikki Kinzer: Well, absolutely and yeah, that goes into a whole nother thought process but absolutely. So the next point that I thought was really important was to think about your belief system. And again, I thought that this was really a good reminder. It’s those limiting beliefs that you and I talk about so often. So to be motivated, you have to have the desire and belief that you have the ability to change. So if you don’t believe that you can change something or you don’t believe that something could be better or different, then we’re going to keep hitting our heads against that wall.

Nikki Kinzer: So those limiting beliefs really have a lot to do with our motivation. And so we have to look at these. We have to work through them, we have to do whatever we can to stop believing those things and really start opening up the door of opportunity.

Pete Wright: I feel like the next lesson is something I’ve been thinking a lot about, which is trying to find meaning once you get over the hump of those limiting beliefs in the things that you are doing, the actions that you’re taking.

Nikki Kinzer: Well, because it … think about when you’re first motivated or inspired to do something, you’re really excited, right? So you’re going to get up early, you’re going to do everything you said you were going to do. And that first day is going to feel great. And then the second day is not going to feel so great and the third day is really not going to feel great.

Nikki Kinzer: So what I got out of this point was really think about what you want to work on and do just one or two things that are meaningful than trying to work on everything at one time because we know … I mean the science backs it. You don’t have to be a researcher to figure this out. If you try to change everything all at once, it’s not going to happen.

Nikki Kinzer: And so it’s those small steps. It’s those small habits. It’s those being able to see that, okay, today wasn’t as great as yesterday, but my limiting belief isn’t going to stop me from trying again tomorrow.

Pete Wright: The roadblock piece, the thing that actually triggers limiting beliefs is when you have a high degree of motivation to do something new that you’re excited about and run into something for which your skills and abilities do not currently allow you to complete it.

Nikki Kinzer: Right.

Pete Wright: Right. That’s not to say that I can’t train myself. I can’t get the right education. I can’t learn the right things to actually … For crying out loud, I can’t watch the right YouTube video to learn how to do this thing. But what I ran into is my motivation falls so low after that first roadblock that a limiting belief is, it’s born. It erupts from the ground, not as a little sprig, but as a mighty oak. Then I decide it’s time for a little bit of Seinfeld, the classic Seinfeld.

Nikki Kinzer: Well he’s … That whole show is hilarious but no, something that, when you were saying that, that is so true when it comes to the expectations of what we think we can get done in a day. When we look at our to-do list, our daily to-do list and we think, "Oh, we can do these 10 things and it’s not even that you can’t actually do the task. You can do the task. You just don’t actually have the time.

Nikki Kinzer: So that whole ADHD time thing has really gotten away from you and you can’t add more hours in the day. So it has absolutely nothing to do with what you did or didn’t do. The time just isn’t there to do it. And so, one of the things that I want people to think about, and this was really interesting because I wrote this I think in caps. When you’re anticipating the roadblocks of what might happen with your motivation, think of it this way. If this happens dot, dot, dot. Then I do dot, dot, dot.

Nikki Kinzer: So if I know that I’m … If I don’t get everything done on my to-do list, then I will or you can rephrase that however you want. But I think that that’s really important is to actually think it through and think about what could potentially happen and again, what is the opportunity there?

Pete Wright: Just a callback to another life. I was in public relations for a long time and one of the things I had to do in public relations for a university was helped coordinate signal response to do trauma training. So when there’s an active shooter drill or when there’s a disease outbreak and some sort of crisis happens at the university, what are the steps that we go through to actually respond to this crisis. And the thing I learned, I don’t actually know if this is … I didn’t actually read this anywhere, but I was told that it’s very much a military thing like a Marine crisis management is that Marines aren’t prepared just because they’re looking at the next crisis over the horizon. They’re prepared when they’re looking at the next crisis over every horizon, right?

Pete Wright: That it’s not just one thing that’s going to trip you up. It’s a number of things, maybe things happening at the same time that are completely unrelated that you’re going to have to find a way to wrap your head around. I really love the idea of documenting the multiple horizon theory of crisis in ADHD because for you to be able to write a bullet, just a sentence on a paper that says, “If this happens, then I do this. If this next thing happens, then I do this thing.” And maybe the things you respond, the way you respond is the same for a number of bullets, but at least you’ve gone through the activity of trying to flush out worst case scenarios and that gives you a lot more control or power or, yeah, I think agency in how you respond when things go wrong.

Nikki Kinzer: Absolutely. Absolutely.

Pete Wright: Enough out of me.

Nikki Kinzer: A couple, just two more things I wanted to add about this particular session is the importance of revisiting your goals, revisit your values, recognize your progress. So it is a journey and so we want to continue to look at those things and for the people that are on the livestream, you’ll see that behind me is my vision board. I add to it periodically whenever something comes to me that I want to add to it, I do. So it has actually grown.

Nikki Kinzer: If you look at the beginning, what it looked like at the beginning of the year and what it looks like today. But that’s a way for me to always be reminded of what’s important and what I’m doing and my intention. And so it is important that we keep that in front of you, especially for ADHDers because as we said at the beginning, it’s too easy to not only forget the lessons and the consequences and the benefits, but it’s easy to forget what our goals are. We need to have those in front of us.

Nikki Kinzer: Something else I want to say is, they also, and again, I wrote this down in caps too. Trial and error is a part of life with ADHD.

Pete Wright: Yeah.

Nikki Kinzer: And I just thought that was beautiful. I just thought that was a beautiful thing to say. Trial and error is a part of life with ADHD. A lot of what I got out of this conference was acceptance. Accepting ourselves for who we are. We don’t need to be fixed. We’re not broken. Somebody had mentioned that it’s not time management that needs to be changed. It’s just your relationship with time has to be reevaluated.

Nikki Kinzer: I mean there’s just these things that I really got out of the conference as a whole and it was definitely this acceptance that this is just part of it. And you’re going to find good things. You’re going to find bad things and you keep going.

Pete Wright: Is that candlelight dinner with Jason Mraz on your vision board? Is that what I see back there?

Nikki Kinzer: Oh my gosh.

Pete Wright: Don’t worry about it. Let’s talk about …

Nikki Kinzer: Oh, you’re funny.

Pete Wright: … Ross Greene.

Nikki Kinzer: Yes, Dr. Ross Greene. Oh man, I was so excited when I found out he was going to be a keynote speaker. So he is the author of The Explosive Child. And I got to tell you, this book was important to me and my husband for a long time. So people that have listened to this show for as many years as we’ve been on it, you know that I’ve had some interesting experiences with raising my son and now raising my daughter.

Nikki Kinzer: But this book was recommended to us by our therapist and said, “You got to read this book.” And so when I found out that Dr. Greene was going to be there, I was really excited and his whole message throughout the hour and a half, two hours or whatever that he spoke, power and control causes conflict, collaboration and problem solving brings people together.

Nikki Kinzer: And he said that over and over again. And he would say, “I can’t give you power but I can give you influence.” And everybody that was there-

Pete Wright: Oh, that’s lovely.

Nikki Kinzer: Yeah, everybody that was listening to that keynote and listening to the show, they know exactly what I’m talking about because he kept saying that. “I can’t give you power but I can give you influence.”

Nikki Kinzer: Top five skills that we all need to be on the better side of human nature. This is what I want to talk about because this is what he’s saying as parents, we want to influence our children. Number one, empathy. Two, how we affect others. Three, how we resolve conflict. Four, how we look at other people’s perspectives. And five, honesty. So these are the five skills you need to have to be on the better side of human nature.

Nikki Kinzer: So he’s asking the audience, “As a parent, are we teaching these skills to our children? Are we modeling them for ourselves?” So again, throughout that speech, I can’t give you control but I can give you influence. He says our kids benefit from our experience, wisdom and values. We influence through the expectations that we set but if you try to do this with power and control, you have no influence.

Nikki Kinzer: Boy, I have two teenagers and this couldn’t … I mean, this is so true. You can get in a power struggle, I mean, so quick with these teens. So it was a real big aha moment. He said, “Don’t focus on the behavior. You want to stop trying to modify behavior because at that point, it’s too late.” So if somebody, if your child broke a curfew or your kid got suspended or got sent to the principal’s office, it’s too late if we’re trying to modify the behavior at that point.

Nikki Kinzer: So what he’s saying is we have to start looking at problems before they happen. We have to be proactive and we have to solve them together. And that’s how we invite them into the conversation with us, so that’s how we influence them.

Nikki Kinzer: That was one of the biggest things I remember when I had younger children is try to talk to your kids before they get on the hamster wheel. Because once they’re on that hamster wheel, it’s done. You just have to play out.

Pete Wright: Yeah, can’t get them out.

Nikki Kinzer: Yeah.

Pete Wright: Right.

Nikki Kinzer: You have to play it out until they’re done.

Pete Wright: That’s right. Write it out.

Nikki Kinzer: Write it out. Yes. So one of the things he said, and this is one of the things I loved about the speech, is that yes, he’s talking about this, but he also gave us tools of what to do. So he says make a list of problems, which I think is kind of funny, but it’s true. I mean, we all have problems, right? So make a list of these problems, figure out what your expectations are as a parent, why those expectations are important to you, and can the child meet the expectations. Because some children are going to lack the skills to meet your expectations and so that may mean that parents need to reduce what they’re expecting their children to do.

Nikki Kinzer: And that was a big, huge aha moment too because timeouts never worked with my son. And it was so frustrating because people will be like, “Well, put him in a timeout.” And I’m like, “You don’t understand, it doesn’t work. He will follow me around.” “Mom, mom, mom, mom, mom, mom.” I can’t get him to be by himself.

Nikki Kinzer: And so when you start to realize that, okay, what … or at least for me. I can’t discipline him and do the same things with him as maybe other people can do with their children. So we really had to think about what are the problems, what are our expectations. And something that Dr. Greene said is it may mean that the child needs medication because that is helping that child with those executive function skills to match the expectations given but it also, again, may mean that as parents we have to be flexible. We have to meet our children where they are at that time.

Pete Wright: That’s so interesting because just the act of making that list, it’s like a zero-based budgeting approach to emotional expectations and skills, right? Like I have this list of things that I want my child to be able to accomplish, but I have to start by saying, “Here are all of those things” and then below this line of energy, motivation, satisfaction, general wellbeing, are the skills that they don’t know how to do that somehow are still on that list. And what am I doing to help them manage to the point that they can actually start moving my line of expectations down so that they’re capable of doing more stuff and are stretching their capability every day? Even in just a little way, how am I teaching?

Pete Wright: And I don’t approach it that way either as a parent. I definitely approach accommodations as a way around or rethinking those expectations when in fact it may be if I do a better job of making this list, there are things I can do and teach and present in a way that will increase what they are able to expect of themselves.

Nikki Kinzer: Right, right.

Pete Wright: That’s fascinating. I love it.

Nikki Kinzer: It is fascinating. I’ll be the first to admit and after I went to this talk, I called my husband immediately and I was like, “We got to talk about this,” because we really have to think about how we’re approaching things with our teenager because again, that power and control isn’t going to work and you don’t want to have that when you have a 17-year-old who’s going to be going out in the world soon anyway. So there’s a balance there that you have to look at. But, again, the expectation is they still are in our home and there are still things that have to be done.

Nikki Kinzer: One of the other last points I want to make here is that he says solving problems together where both parties are happy. I think that this is important for teenagers, like the teenage relationship with parents because you have to have some trust that if a child and yourself can say, “Okay, I wonder if there’s a way that I can get what I need, but you can also make sure that you get what you need and we can meet in the middle.”

Nikki Kinzer: So again, it’s that flexibility. It’s that having this conversation before the behavior already happens. I know this is all hard because I’m right in the trenches of it, but man, I thought it was really good advice and his website for more information about his work is livesinthebalance.org. We’ll put those in the show notes too but check out the website, check out the book because I definitely think he has a great message.

Pete Wright: The last topic on your list, ADHD girls and women.

Nikki Kinzer: Yes, so this was a, again, as said at the top of the show, very personal to me and so I went to this. It was a panel, basically. It was three professional women and their three daughters and it had their experiences that they went through growing up with ADHD as being an ADHD girl and being an ADHD woman. There is no doubt that there is a gender bias when it comes to girls and boys and ADHD. And I am right in the middle of that two.

Nikki Kinzer: So if your girl has pretty good grades, is a joy to be in class because she’s very charismatic and kindhearted, they don’t see a problem. So girls are getting missed and it’s because they don’t have behavioral problems. It’s because they fly under the radar. They are people pleasers and they’re really good at faking that they are paying attention. And they figure out how to cope. And they are gifted at better masking their issues.

Nikki Kinzer: I mean they just can do it. They can because they’re not necessarily fidgety. They’re not exactly walking up and down the hallways. Although I think my daughter’s probably dancing up and down the hallway.

Pete Wright: Up and down the hallway.

Nikki Kinzer: Yeah, but yeah. So that’s something that’s going on there. And so on the outside, everything looks great but inside their life is in shambles. And that’s what we have to listen for. That’s what we have to look for.

Nikki Kinzer: With girls, there’s a lot, and women, there’s a lot more guilt and shame because they always feel like a fraud. They feel like they’re going to get caught. They had an expression called it all works until it doesn’t. So they’re really good at faking it until it stops working. And that could be for a number of different reasons.

Pete Wright: I just had a funny thought. Can I?

Nikki Kinzer: Yeah, please.

Pete Wright: You know what, RBF is resting B face, right? We don’t swear on the podcast.

Nikki Kinzer: Okay, yes.

Pete Wright: You know what I’m talking about, right?

Nikki Kinzer: Yes.

Pete Wright: I just had this thought because I do this too and it’s not because I’m like fake paying attention because what’s in my head is inattentive. It’s like fireworks but I have resting attention face. Like I can look mmm. That’s like resting attention face.

Nikki Kinzer: Yeah, that’s really interesting.

Pete Wright: There’s nothing behind it but I have RAF. I have RAF. We need to start a foundation. The Resting Attention Face Foundation.

Nikki Kinzer: Absolutely.

Pete Wright: There’s got to be some good we can do in the world for those of us who are super ADHD and attentive and all we have is resting attention face. My goodness.

Nikki Kinzer: That’s very true. Very true.

Pete Wright: This is delightful. I feel like we’ve solved something big today.

Nikki Kinzer: We did.

Pete Wright: Go ahead. Please continue.

Nikki Kinzer: Well, so one of the things … and this is true for women as well as young girls, but often getting diagnosed with anxiety or depression first. And one of the things that one of the professional moms, she is a therapist and she was saying when she has a client that comes in and they have anxiety or depression, she now almost always treat or always screens them for ADHD as well because she’s learned over time that that could be the underlying cause of it.

Nikki Kinzer: So that’s something to be aware of because these conditions may be because of the untreated ADHD. This is what I thought was kind of funny. Girls are hyperactive with their talking, so it’s not necessarily with their bodies and fidgeting but with their talking and I can definitely relate to that one.

Pete Wright: What about with their phones, like are their thumbs constantly going because they’re communicating or is it just mouths always going?

Nikki Kinzer: Well, in my experience, it’s always the little mouth going.

Pete Wright: Yeah, okay, all right.

Nikki Kinzer: But I think that all kids with their phones is an issue so I don’t see it any more different than any of her friends. They’re always on the phone doing stuff but yeah, lots of talking going on. Lots of FaceTiming.

Pete Wright: Oh sure, yeah.

Nikki Kinzer: This is discouraging. 64% of young girls will have eating disorders. This is less for women that are in their 20s, not really sure why.

Pete Wright: So it goes down?

Nikki Kinzer: Yeah, it goes down for women in their 20s but these are the things to look for. So if you have a girl in your home that you’re concerned about, these are the things that you want to be looking for. In school, they’re the daydreamers. They’re underachieving so the grades don’t reflect their hard work. Homework is taking longer than two hours or they forget their homework. They forget it at school, they forget it at home. It just gets forgotten.

Nikki Kinzer: Perfectionism can be something to look for. Lack of confidence and self-esteem because they feel different from their peers, but they don’t know why. Having a hard time with emotional regulation. This is true I think for any young girl but especially true for somebody that has untreated ADHD.

Nikki Kinzer: Again, more things to look for. If you’ve been diagnosed with anxiety or depression, have them be screening you for ADHD. If you notice your child is dropping in grades, especially in middle school, take notice and also, again, take notice if your homework is taking longer than one to two hours to complete. Last thing she said is trust your gut and I certainly believe in that 100%. So there you go.

Pete Wright: You’re a changed mom, look at you. You’ve learned so much.

Nikki Kinzer: Yeah, well, I’m advocating. The process just to give people an update is just really frustrating because the doctor, her primary doctor basically said it was anxiety and trying to get-

Pete Wright: And there’s probably some of that.

Nikki Kinzer: There is.

Pete Wright: Who are we kidding?

Nikki Kinzer: For sure, but trying to get her into an assessment has been really difficult. Like I got an email back just last week that they couldn’t see her for six months. There’s a six-month waiting list and then I’ve got emails out to-

Pete Wright: That’s telling in itself, isn’t it?

Nikki Kinzer: Yeah, for sure. And I’ve got probably two or three other emails to other providers to try to get her assessed. And so it’s a frustrating process, but I’m not letting go of it. I’m going to keep calling and keep asking when I can get her in. And she’s fortunate and I say this humbly, I don’t mean to sound arrogant, but I’m treating it just like she does have ADHD. So I’ve been really helping her with her homework and we redid her whole binder system and I’ve been giving her lots of tools and strategies to help her and giving her just a lot of support and a lot of love. I keep telling her-

Pete Wright: Well, that’s never hurt anybody.

Nikki Kinzer: No, no. So, we’ll figure it out and I will definitely share the journey with everybody because it’s important that we talk about this.

Pete Wright: It’s what we do.

Nikki Kinzer: It’s what we do.

Pete Wright: Right. Well, I appreciate you sharing. I appreciate all of these lessons learned. I’ve made some notes of things that I need to go read, and they’re going to be in the show notes. So thank you, everybody, as always, for downloading and listening to this show. We deeply appreciate your time and your attention.

Pete Wright: On behalf of Nikki Kinzer, I’m Pete Wright, and we’ll see you next week right here on Taking Control: The ADHD Podcast.

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